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[Drama 2021] The Sea of Silence, 고요의 바다


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Netflix series ‘The Silent Sea’ starring Bae Doo-na pioneers Korean sci-fi drama

For most of the cast and staff of Netflix’s “The Silent Sea,” they jumped at the chance to join the production of the sci-fi thriller series, quickly overcoming any hesitancy. 

“I think I was a little reluctant about starring in a Korean space-related project. Even after receiving the scenario, I was uncertain about the moon exploration series. But my attitude completely changed after watching the director‘s short film ‘The Silent Sea,’” Bae Doo-na, who took the role of elite astrobiologist Song Ji-an, said in an online press conference Wednesday.

“After learning that it was his graduation project, I was shocked and amazed by how incredible his short film was. I did not know much about the director, but he made me feel that I should take up the challenge and be part of this space project,” Bae added.

The upcoming mystery thriller, an adaptation of a short film of the same title by director Choi Hang-yong, 40, was created as the director’s graduation project at the school of film, TV and multimedia at Korea National University of Arts in 2014.

The film was shown at the Mise-en-scene Short Film Festival in 2014, where the project attracted attention from veteran actor Jung Woo-sung to reproduce the project into a drama series.

The series is about a group of space explorers on a classified mission to an abandoned research facility on the moon.

“I was mesmerized by the unique concept, which built the entire universe of ‘The Silent Sea.’ Though creating a sci-fi series in Korea was and is still regarded as a big challenge, I believed that this could be a good chance to try a Korean style sci-fi project,” Jung said.

On his short film-turned-Netflix series, Choi said, “There are many space-related films and series, but not necessarily about the moon. Though we are very close to the moon, I realized that we do not know much about it. This triggered my interest and made me shoot a sci-fi project.”

The director was excited to present “The Silent Sea” as a Netflix series, because he was able to develop the story in a greater scope than in his 37-minute film. But translating the moon’s landscape to the screen was no easy task.

“The texture of light had to be different, because there is no atmosphere on the moon. Because there’s no wind, the cuff and hair do not fly. These were some of the examples that we kept in mind to bring a good series to the viewers,” Choi added.
Gong Yoo, who previously made his Netflix debut with a brief appearance on “Squid Game,” was honored to take part in this project.

“Unique setting, interesting scenario and amazing cast aside, I was personally interested in a dystopian world and stories about the near future,” said Gong. “I was disappointed that Korean contents were lacking in diversity, where similar stories and genres were consumed. As an actor, it was a great honor to be part of the series, which provides an opportunity for Korean films and series to expand their genre.”

Toward the end of the conference, screenwriter Park Eun-gyo shared her thoughts about the upcoming Netflix series.

“Because Korea did not have many sci-fi projects, I was surprised about the lack of data and experience that could be referenced in writing about the space-related series. There were not a lot of seniors who could offer advice. I think this was the challenge for me in developing the short film into an eight-part series,” Park said.

The upcoming sci-fi thriller will release on Netflix on Friday.

‘The Silent Sea’ review: the vast unknown belies deadly truths in this nail-biting battle for humanity’s survival

High-stakes missions set against the vast expanses of space are not entirely unfamiliar tropes on TV or in films – we’ve seen countless stories of astronauts and scientists looking beyond the Earth’s atmosphere in search of a second chance at life somewhere in the cosmos, be it Interstellar (2014), The Martian (2015) or Passengers (2016), just to name a few more recent releases. However, Netflix’s The Silent Sea forgoes a far-flung, often fictional planet and opts for a setting much closer to Earth, and yet, somehow remains as mysterious as the rest – the Moon.
Directed by Choi Hang-yong, The Silent Sea takes place in a not-so-distant future where the Earth’s resources are rapidly depleting due to desertification. Infant mortality rates have also skyrocketed, posing an imminent threat to the survival of the human species. Instead of an idealistic future where we put aside our differences for the sake of the subsistence of human life, viewers are immediately thrust into a grim alternative to the ideal – here, it’s every man for himself. People are rigidly stratified into social classes that determine their access to water; the rich and their associates have the privilege of never having to worry about their supplies, while the poor are forced to scrimp on such a necessary life resource.

Amidst the bleakness, we meet Song Ji-an (Bae Doo-na), a cynical astrobiologist who struggles to cope with the death of her older sister, formerly a head researcher at the Balhae Lunar Research Station until a radiation leak caused the entire crew’s demise, leaving the station abandoned for the past five years. She is recruited by the Space Aviation Administration (SAA) on a 24-hour mission to the station to retrieve an undisclosed sample, alongside an exploration team of 10 other astronauts, engineers and doctors led by Captain Han Yoon-jae (Gong Yoo). Ji-an is immediately skeptical of the mission and its true purpose, but continues to begrudgingly participate, with ever-so-slight hope that she might just uncover the truth behind her sister’s passing.


Once the crew set off for their destination, it seems as though anything that can go wrong will. Right off the bat, their spacecraft suffers from a system failure that results in a violent crash on the Moon’s surface and, soon after, the team discover piles of bodies along one of the station’s eerily derelict hallways as well as curiously normal radiation levels across the station, sowing seeds of doubt and mistrust in the crew.


To make matters worse, not a single sample has been found after hours of combing through the base, and the remaining crew members have no way of returning back to Earth or contacting the SAA. The Silent Sea soon picks up pace after a crew member comes into contact with one of the bodies while searching the crevices of the station. This one moment then sets off a chain of events that adds a new layer of complexity and anxiety to the crew’s already hazardous mission, turning up the speed on The Silent Sea to the maximum, imploring us to up and enjoy the ride.





The Silent Sea has an ambitious premise and plot that grows to become a double-edged sword. The series presents a nail-bitingly intense scenario by flirting with the boundlessness of the unknown – the uncharted terrain of the Moon and the abandoned space station create the perfect backdrops for the unravelling of the show’s bigger-picture abstrusities, be it the peculiar deaths of the station’s previous crew, the sample of unspecified origins or a number of the show’s other mysteries. The Silent Sea does an immaculate job depicting the horrors that only the unfamiliar can bring, all while taking place in the claustrophobic confines of the station’s dark, winding hallways, which offer no real escape or solace from the dire straits the crew are challenged to survive.

Her initial aloof disposition unfurling to reveal surprising emotional sensitivity, Bae Doo-na’s performance is the driving force for much of the show’s plot, slowly and unwittingly unveiling deeper layers to Song Ji-an and her motivations, albeit treading the line of predictable at certain points. However, the many remaining characters – especially Doctor Hong Ga-young (Kim Sun-young) and Ryu Tae-suk (Lee Joon) – are denied chances to become fully realised characters in order to make space for The Silent Sea’s larger-than-life plot. But, director Choi Hang-yong attempts to make up for this by aptly demonstrating the tightly drawn interpersonal dynamics between much of the crew.




As humans, we have always been afraid of the daunting possibilities and potential dangers the unknown could present. The Silent Sea’s greatest strength is in its ability to tastefully play to this shared sense of dread in the context of a very possible future, making it feel all the more terrifying. Reinforced through thought-provoking themes and allegories, first-rate production and set design, as well as a premise that has gone through tireless refinements over a decade, The Silent Sea is ultimately a nuanced exploration of outer space as humanity’s last hope, that sheds light on the extreme lengths the upper echelon are willing to go to preserve themselves and their dignities, even in the most catastrophic of circumstances.





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I just started this today and just watched the first two episode. It’s super intense from the start and super cerebral, slow burn start but with only 8 episodes I think it will pick up. So far focuses — update: finished it. 



The show is 80% focused on Bae Doo-Ba’s character and her story line to figure out re her older sis. and I was hoping for a bit more Gong Yoo. Overall, it was a solid blend of sci-fi, mystery, psych horror, and bits of horror. I like the genre mixing even if it had lots of flaws. I think my main dislike of this drama was the pacing - it was a bit uneven. The plot was solid and the last 1/4 was very good. I am so glad Gong Yoo didn’t died lol - I didn’t like what they did with his character near the end - it felt a bit too gimmicky especially as the death toll was already so high. Also the ending was bit of a let down or did they really leave it open ended for a potential season 2?? Because what will happen to Luna?? Did they succeed in getting her safe from the labs and the fighting? In the end, I really enjoyed the show and the solid performances from the cast. 


Edited by Yinye
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Suspenseful right to the end…a wild ride and then…err…you’re left with the feeling, “okay what was that all about?”.  It just felt…open ended?  Anyway, warning - do not watch this if you have a morbid fear of drowning.  Water is NOT your friend in this drama. :lol:

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Binged all 8 eps up to 4am this morning. it took time to set up the stage, but I enjoyed it immensely, keeping me on my toes for the majority of the show. Am sorry to read less than flattering reviews about it, because it is an ambitious project that delivers on a whole, but with an open end which does not quite explain the fate of the survivors, particularly Luna, which could leave an open door for S2, though I think it best served to keep this as its conclusion. 

In the total opposite of its drama premise, the actors and producer themselves are a bunch of goofballs that deliver so much laughter here :lol:



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'The Silent Sea' Twitter Review: Netizens Say Gong Yoo's Thriller 'will Keep You Floating'

As soon as The Silent Sea was released, many fans who were eagerly waiting for the drama, have shared their thoughts and opinions on Twitter

Written By
Vibhuti Sanchala

South Korean stars Gong Yoo and Bae Doona's highly-anticipated sci-fi thriller drama, The Silent Sea has finally made its way to Netflix on Friday. The newly-released series shows the volatile situations the astronauts' team members are thrown into. It shows due to technical errors, the spaceship carrying the elite team members is forced to make an emergency landing on the moon. The mission is threatening the special mission.

It later gives glimpses that the team is barely escaping as the ship tenuously hangs on a cliff. However, they make it across the desolate surface of the moon in endless silence, before finally making it to the Balhae Lunar Research Station, which is an abandoned research base. The base is called ‘The Silent Sea.’

As soon as all the eight episodes were released, many fans who were eagerly waiting for the drama, have shared their thoughts and opinions on their respective Twitter handle. The series has received critically acclaimed responses and has been receiving praises for the social message it has to convey to the global audience. 


Gong Yoo and Bae Doona's The Silent Sea Twitter review

Many viewers after watching the episodes took to the micro-blogging site and reviewed the much-hyped series. They have been praising the technical crew and all the cast members. A netizen wrote, "Mystery, science fiction, thriller #TheSilentSea really live up those It's really good and make viewers drown and thrilled in every episode It raise the inequality and social issue where water scarcity and as precious as gold."


Another one tweeted, "The Silent Sea: 9,5/10 I just finished it and I can say that is the best drama of 2021 (for me). This drama made me feel so many emotions that I really can't describe well in this "little" thread. Let's go." A user chipped in, "The Silent Sea. Long ago, Galileo thought it was all water. That's why he decided to name it the Silent Sea. But once we got to the moon, there was no water". - The Silent Sea (2021)." Another user wrote, "I finished "The Silent Sea" and I cried so badly. BEST KOREAN DRAMA OF 2021. Must watch! Humans have ruined earth and now have set to ruin moon too. Episode 1 to 8, will keep you floating."



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K-content 'Sea of Silence', which went to space, ranks 4th globally on Netflix




The K-content Netflix original series <Sea of Silence>, which went to space, climbed to the 4th place on Netflix global just two days after its release, creating another sensation following <Squid Game> and <Hellbound>.


According to Flixpatrol, a global online video content ranking site on the 27th, <Sea of Silence> ranked 4th in the global Netflix TV show category the day before. Season 2 of <Emily Going to Paris> took 1st place, <The Witcher> season 2 took 2nd place, and <House of Paper> Part 5 took 3rd place. 1st to 3rd places are all sequels to the popular series, and only <Sea of Silence> is a new release this time. Released on the 24th, <Sea of Silence> entered the chart at No. 7 the next day, and jumped three steps this time. By country, it ranked first in Korea, Japan, and Thailand, and third in the United States, the largest market.


<Sea of Silence>, starring Gong Yoo and Bae Doo-na, is a sci-fi thriller drama depicting the story of space crews who went to the moon on special missions in the near future when the earth was devastated by a water shortage. The short film of the same name directed by Choi Hang-yong, which was well received at the 2014 Mise-en-scène Short Film Festival, was made into an 8-part series. Director Choi took charge of directing, and writer Park Eun-kyo, who wrote the screenplay for <Mother> and <Miss Blush>, participated in the screenplay. Actor Jung Woo-sung takes charge of production and draws attention.




Audience reactions are mixed. The space and lunar surfaces are expressed with high-level computer graphics, and the elaborate implementation of the space base on a set of about 8,900 square meters (2,700 pyeong) is particularly well-received. Even within the story structure common in this genre, there are evaluations that the subject of 'water' has been unraveled in a unique way. On the other hand, there are a lot of responses that the story stretches and the tension decreases as the short story is increased to an 8-episode series.


In the US movie rating site IMDb, <Sea of Silence> scored 7.1 out of 10, lower than <Squid Game> (8 points) but higher than <Hell> (6.7 points). Variety, an American media outlet, said, "It's visually impressive, but eight episodes can be boring and slow."





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Ep 4

For some reason the episode reminded me of the movie ''The Poseidon Adventure''...:D

Captain Han is a good leader, he is brave and realistic. I like other characters too, especially E2.

I didnt expect plants full of life under that cover. 

I wonder if Tae Seok is deliberately sabotaging communication with the base.   :unsure:

He was cynical during that conversation about the bracelet.

But again, he always says something comforting to his teammates.









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Okay, I binge watched this show when it aired. The beginning was good, full of a mysterious charm. However, the end left a lot to be desired. I'm okay with open endings, though they should've explained some things, such as Luna (it needs more background, why did she develop antibodies? Why did it enhance her physical abilities? How is she capable of stepping outside without the deadly consequences?). What was Luna exactly? I mean, was she a relative of that important woman in politics? If she was a clone, then there was an "original" person. And how about the supposed antagonists? We knew nothing about them except the two spies, which didn't reveal much. How did Luna got the captain out? Did someone really arrived to save them? Where was the corpse of her sister? What will happen to planet earth?

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Netflix’s ‘The Silent Sea’ is a proof of concept for Korea’s sci-fi might

Written by Marga Buenaventura | CNN PHILIPPINES

Dec 24, 2021 1:25:43 PM



In the Netflix sci-fi series “The Silent Sea,” the world grapples with an apocalyptic drought. Photo courtesy of NETFLIX

“The Silent Sea” proposes a horrifying world that is ruled by water. Climate change finally destroys the earth’s ecosystem and causes massive drought, making water the most important resource to be had. In Korea, it’s treated as a marker of status and a form of currency: the amount of water you are allowed to collect is based on your professional rank. A revolt is on the brink, as angry citizens clamor to abolish this caste system. Seoul is presented here as a barren city, with the mighty Han River dried up as gleaming high rises crowd the skyline.

This is the world that astrobiologist Dr. Song Jian (Bae Doona) inhabits, and the series kicks off as she is called by the Korean Space and Aeronautics Administration to join a mission on the moon. Led by captain Han Yunjae (Gong Yoo), the team heads to the abandoned Balhae Lunar Research Station after a radiation leak killed 117 crew members five years before. They’re given 24 hours to retrieve samples of the research left behind. After their spaceship makes a perilous crash landing, they soon realize that this retrieval mission is a lot more than they bargained for.



"A Silent Sea" is the first Korean sci-fi drama set in space, featuring a truly star-studded cast. From L-R: Lee Moo Saeng, Kim Sun-Young, Bae Doona, Gong Yoo, and Lee Joon. Photo courtesy of NETFLIX

The series is adapted from director Choi Hang-yong’s 2014 short film “The Sea of Tranquility,” and has been touted as a landmark endeavor in many ways: it’s the first Korean sci-fi drama set in space, featuring a truly star-studded cast of Bae Doona (a Netflix regular with “Sense8” and “Kingdom”), Gong Yoo (“Train to Busan,” “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God”), and Lee Joon (former idol by way of second-gen boy group MBLAQ, “My Father is Strange”). Beloved actor Jung Woo-sung (called by the show’s cast as an “artist’s artist”) assumes an executive producer role for the first time. Series writer Park Eun Kyo is best known for co-writing the 2009 film “Mother” by director Bong Joon Ho.

Realizing all the stellar CVs padding every surface of this series, I was anxious about watching “The Silent Sea.” With everything in the right place, the odds are decidedly in favor of the show. Netflix has also had tremendous success with its recent Korean productions: 2019 zombie series “Kingdom” became a genre hit while “Squid Game” became the platform’s most watched series as of November 2021. But Netflix productions, on the whole, can be like hit or miss. “The Silent Sea” felt like watching a free kick that could potentially be a hat trick, and I’m the nervous wreck sitting at home, hoping for another goal. I am also wearing a jersey that says “Bae Doona” at the back.

The series is visually arresting. Balhae Research Station is a claustrophobic labyrinthe but wonderfully retro, evoking mid century modern aesthetic with rounded window corners and the varying shades of beige. No amount was spared as far as the set design was concerned, and the support of a global entity like Netflix allowed director Choi to employ virtual production techniques using LED walls and visual effects work. Instead of acting against green screens, the crew was able to bring realistic images to the screen. Gong Yoo said in the production interview “[t]hat tremendously helped our acting. These efforts, big and small, define the details of our work.”



No amount was spared as far as the set design was concerned, and the support of a global entity like Netflix allowed director Choi the opportunity to employ virtual production techniques using LED walls and visual effects work. Photo courtesy of NETFLIX

The acting, more than anything, is what carries the entire series through. It was an ensemble effort, with Bae delivering a strong, stoic performance as a scientist with many questions and just as many secrets. Gong Yoo reprises his role as the nation’s kind RickRoll'D-slash-unproblematic straight man. Kim Sun-Young (“Crash Landing on You,” “Her Private Life”) proves her mettle as a dramatic actress, but also provided a complementary levity to Bae’s austere role. While the rest of the crew isn’t given enough backstories for me to emotionally invest in, the show gave a lot of room for physical acting — there’s a painful sequence of the lunar crew walking on the moon’s surface in the first episode, and you can feel every labored step on their faces.

The series is a lean eight episodes with the pilot running the longest at just 51 minutes, relatively short for K-dramas that are typically 16 episodes that average at 90 minutes per episode. It certainly makes for a bingeable watch, but the refreshing pace fails to pick up on personal cues that make an audience root for the characters. The lack of an emotional connection also made certain plot reveals less satisfying;why should I care about this random dude on the moon? While we learn about the motivations and histories of the main characters, the supporting cast fades into the background — and it doesn’t help that everyone is wearing the same thing for most of the series.

The thinness of the character development reveals the hidden seams within the scriptwriting. Writer Park shared during the production interview that “The Silent Sea” was originally intended to be a feature film, but Netflix offered for a series instead. “I figured a series would give us room to present these stories in a relaxed way while preserving the feel of the original,” Park said.


The acting, more than anything, is what carries the entire series through. Photo courtesy of NETFLIX

Yet that’s exactly what the series feels like: a show that would have worked well as a really long movie. The show’s indulgent visual sequences in space do, quite literally, feel like they exist in a vacuum. For a story hinged on water scarcity, “The Silent Sea” is surprisingly apolitical. Previous Korean blockbusters like “Parasite” and even “Squid Game” were blatant criticisms on the dangers and hypocrisy of capitalism, and “The Silent Sea” attempted to make an equally strong statement. But very little time was devoted to the social constructs ruling this version of the earth (e.g. the true nature of the water caste system, if paper money still exists) and so what then is the true price of venturing into space?

It’s possible that Choi and Park are deliberately withholding this context for a planned second season. Despite my misgivings about the script, “The Silent Sea” was a captivating watch, and proves that with the right hands, a science fiction blockbuster about the moon can offer something new. It’s a painful foreshadowing of a terrible future that looms, and shows how even in the most dire circumstances, humanity will go on desperate lengths to ensure its survival.




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13 hours ago, Kathia said:

However, the end left a lot to be desired.

Yeah I agree.  I wasn’t sure what the whole message of the drama was?  That we had to protect the earth from becoming like that?  That humanity is adaptable?  That class distinctions were inevitable?  

Also did GongYoo survive?  What do people think?  Hubby and I had this discussion about whether he died or not.  Hubby thought the open ending meant there would be a S2?  I thought GongYoo died (his helmet light went out?) but in theory if his space suit was intact he should in theory survive the deluge in the end?  And I agree about the mysterious Luna.  What was she?  I know she had gills but to waltz about the moon in the lab coat was hardly a plausible.  Especially since the moon’s atmosphere is -173C when the sun sets.  It was below freezing because the water froze as soon as it came into contact with the moon’s atmosphere.  How did Luna survive subzero temperatures?  She didn’t need to stay in the space station if that was the case?  She could’ve gone in and out no problems (she was there for 5years on her own)?  

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6 hours ago, nrllee said:

Also did GongYoo survive?  What do people think?  Hubby and I had this discussion about whether he died or not.  Hubby thought the open ending meant there would be a S2?  I thought GongYoo died (his helmet light went out?) but in theory if his space suit was intact he should in theory survive the deluge in the end?  And I agree about the mysterious Luna.


I never thought it is an open ending. :D I thought that the captain of the mission died as well. Not only that the suit has limited oxygen, but all the base was flooded with that water.  For the first space kdrama I have seen it was good. I liked it.  I did not have the need to fast forward so I did not struggle to watch it. I did not mind the slow pace either  but, to honest, the plot was not that good. I watched without thinking much.  I don`t even want to comment how a girl can survive the moon’s atmosphere. A couple of experiments and she is a freak of nature. Luna 73 survives not only the moon`s atmosphere but the Earth`s as well. Misteriously healing all the wounds because of that moon water. I really did not understand why Director Choi decided to kill all those people from the base.

No, I don`t need a second season. I don`t want it.

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29 minutes ago, larus said:

I never thought it is an open ending. :D I thought that the captain of the mission died as well. Not only that the suit has limited oxygen, but all the base was flooded with that water. 

Yeah I thought he died too.  And it meant there would be no S2. But hubby said he would’ve had enough oxygen to survive that flooding.  It wasn’t as long as when they had to trek 7km (?) from their space craft to the space station.  I agree that it was suspenseful right to the end.  It kept my attention and was gripping.  And if that was all it was, a thrill ride, then it’s fine.  But I was hoping for a bit more depth, some sort of consistent message.  Anyway, I don’t want a S2 either.  The reason why I asked was that hubby watched it with me and then asked if there was a S2 because there was so much left unsaid.  Mainly about Luna and where she fits in the big scheme of things.  How was Bae Doona going to keep her alive and away from the other governments who would want her to experiment on?  Just stuff like that.  :lol:

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Will Gong Yoo’s Neck Tattoo in The Silent Sea Save Us From Drought? Paradoxically, Yeah.

By Roxana Hadadi@roxana_hadadi




Spoilers follow for The Silent Sea

There are many mysteries at the heart of The Silent Sea, the South Korean sci-fi miniseries that dropped on Netflix on December 24. Why is humanity so selfish that it allowed the world to plunge into environmental devastation? What help could space exploration, specifically the resources found on the moon, provide? Is there a future for humankind?

And, most important: What is up with Gong Yoo’s neck tattoo?

Gong has been a mainstay of Korean TV and cinema for 20 years; in K-dramas Big and Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, in the kinetic zombie thriller Train to Busan, and in the capitalism-as-trauma series Squid Game. (You want Gong Yoo to slap you? So do we all!) Now the actor, who once played a magician despite not needing any tricks to look like that, leads the ensemble cast of The Silent Sea, which follows a group of South Korean scientists, engineers, and astronauts traveling to the country’s Balhae Lunar Research Station on the moon. Five years ago, dozens of crew members at the research station died — because of a radiation leak, according to the government — and their work was never made public. The Space and Aeronautics Administration is now sending another team, led by Gong’s Captain Han Yoon-jae, to retrieve a capsule sample of something from the station before they destroy it. Captain Han is a rules follower, and he often butts heads with Dr. Song Ji-an (Bae Doona), who suspects the SAA is keeping an array of secrets about what’s being done on the moon.

The Silent Sea director Choi Hang-yong, adapting his own short film The Sea of Tranquility, and writer Park Eun-kyo evoke Aliens and The Road in their depiction of an Earth with scarce water. Gross-out body humor actually serves a narrative purpose, with Choi transforming revolting vomit scenes into pensive ruminations on the transient nature of bodies. And Bae, whose work with Bong Joon Ho, the Wachowskis, and Kim Eun-hee has made her a genre mainstay, grounds the series as the unapologetically intelligent, quietly yearning Dr. Song.

But is this analysis of the series’ strengths what you’re here for? Probably not. You want to talk about Gong Yoo’s neck tattoo, and you probably have that old Aziz Ansari line running through your head: “If he has a neck tattoo, I’m gonna lick it.” So, what is this black-and-gray rendering on the left side of Gong’s neck, and what does it signify? Let’s figure it out together.

The tattoo first appears 70 seconds into the premiere episode, “Balhae Lunar Research Station,” after the team’s ship crashes on the moon. Gravity has everyone flipped and floating, but what is really most important to consider is how far down the Captain’s tattoo goes. Are we talking about a collarbone situation? You’ll have to use your imagination for this, since there are no Gong Yoo shirtless scenes in this series. I apologize; please direct all complaints to Netflix.



We get a greater sense of what the tattoo depicts with another glimpse later in that same episode. Does it look like a circuit board? Whatever it is, it exudes authority and efficacy. I would follow this man anywhere, my captain, my king!

When the team gets to the research station, things get weird. “Uncertainty is everywhere, in space and on Earth,” the team realizes, and Captain Han tries to guide them through it in third episode “Cause of Death.” When Captain Han meets with Dr. Song and the team’s other doctor, Dr. Hong Ga-Young (Kim Sun-young), in the station’s main research laboratory, he’s exhausted, weary, and wearing what looks like a white Tyvek suit that contrasts well with the dark ink of his body art. Also in this shot, maybe a clue: Does the symbol on the Captain’s earpiece look a bit like the tattoo beneath it?

The tattoo is all the more intriguing (cough, fantasy inducing) because of how little we see of it. But then, finally, in fourth episode “The Truth Comes Out,” the truth does, in fact, come out. And by that I mean that sure, The Silent Sea confirms some of the shady stuff that was going on at Balhae, but more important, we get to see the captain’s tattoo in its nearly full glory.






Gaze upon it! It is in fact a re-creation of his unit’s interlocking triangle insignia, with additional lines and angular flourishes! And it perhaps explains why at the end of the series, instead of the Captain returning to Earth to reunite with his ill daughter, he sacrifices himself to save Dr. Song, Dr. Hong, and Luna (Kim Si-a), a young girl and clone upon whom the scientists at Balhae had been experimenting. His loyalty to his squad, and his hope that they might return to Earth and build a better world for his child, is his primary motivation.

That’s very selfless and noble! But it is also a tragedy, because it means that Gong’s Captain Han dies on the moon, and if there were a second season or sequel to The Silent Sea, he theoretically would not be in it. His loss is an addition to the sad-space sci-fi subgenre that is basically as devastating as, say, Ad Astra. I am only being slightly hyperbolic!




I was staring at his tatoo while I was watching the series. I asked myself what is the story behind it? :w00t:

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Gong Yoo on 'The Silent Sea': ‘I have for long been drawn to dystopian stories’

December 23, 2021 23:22 IST
Updated: December 24, 2021 11:53 IST

Great stories will prove that South Korean content’s global popularity is here to stay, says actor Gong Yoo, as he and co-star Bae Doona promote their latest Netflix series


There are few things that are worth leaving the warmth of one’s bed on a freezing December morning. Speaking to South Korea’s popular star, Gong Yoo, is one of them.


While the announcement of any project with the actor is met with excitement, this December is ‘Yooltide’ for fans as they eagerly await the release of the sci-fi thrillerThe Silent Sea, the actor’s third project this year after Seobok and a cameo in Squid Game.

Gong Yoo’s smile, as he greets me on the Zoom call, along with co-star Bae Doona, is warm and reassuring. A household name, the 42-year-old is, by his own admission, a ‘reluctant celebrity’. He made his social media debut on Instagram only in December this year; it marked his 20 years in showbiz and gained a million followers within just a few hours of his first uncaptioned post of a squid!


Drawn to dystopian stories

“I am extremely grateful for all the attention and anticipation for my work, but I will admit that sometimes it does put pressure on me,” he begins. “Honestly speaking, I tend to be someone who follows my own heart and is drawn to and chooses productions that resonate with me.” Gong Yoo answers with humility to my observation that fans have been eagerly awaiting The Silent Sea. Adapted by director Choi Hang-Yong from his 2014 short film, The Sea of Tranquility, the show is set in a near-distant dystopian future. As the Earth’s water reserves dry up, a specialist team embarks on a dangerous mission to the Moon to retrieve samples from the Balhae Base station for the survival of humanity.


From his breakout role in the 2007 gender-bender drama, The Coffee Prince, to playing the immortal Goblin, in 2016’s most popular series The Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, Gong Yoo is known to be cautious with scripts and projects. He also played an activist in the crime thriller The Silenced (2011) and a father trying to save his daughter and others in the zombie apocalyptic, Train To Busan (2016). Now he plays Captain Han Yoon Jae, leading the space mission in The Silent Sea. “I tend to be drawn to original and new productions. The Silent Sea fell into that category and it’s also a genre that we haven’t explored much in Korea, or Asia, and that was the challenge that stood out for me,” he admits. “I have for long been drawn to dystopian stories and this was one such.”




From realism to sci-fi expert

Bae Doona plays astrobiologist Song Ji An in the film. While she is no stranger to the world of sci-fi — she has headlined Wachowski projects such as Sense8, Jupiter Ascending and Cloud Atlas — the actor admits that she isn’t an expert in the genre. “Oddly, during the first decade since my debut, before Cloud Atlas, I was far from being a sci-fi expert; I was what you call a realism expert,” she laughs. The actor had credited director Bong Joon-ho with whom she did two projects, Barking Dogs Never Bite ( 2000) and The Host (2006), for encouraging her to her pursue acting.





More than a trend

Although their personalities and ideologies clash in the thriller as they find themselves in space, both Bae Doona and Gong Yoo share an easy camaraderie off-screen. There is a sense of pride as they applaud the global popularity and mainstreaming of Korean content as it breaks international viewing records. Would this translate as more Asian representation with an impact on the stories being told? Gong Yoo gives the answer some thought. “It is important to remember that there can be a bubble. In order that it is not temporary and a one-time wonder, but something that can be sustained, we must continue to create great stories from Korea. It’s a great time to be an actor.”


Bae Doona agrees. “I am the happiest when I am part of a Korean production. But when shows like Kingdom, Squid Game, Hellbound, which I didn’t even act in, do well, that brings me immense joy. I am proud of the recognition given to my favourite actor Youn Yuh-jung [who won an Academy Award for best supporting actress in Minari this year]. It could well be a trend but even then, the fact is that Korea is a very small country and this is an inspiring time for us actors.”

As for Gong Yoo, while it may be a while till we see him back in India after his incognito visit when filming Finding Mr Destiny in 2010, fans are hoping this Christmas project will check all their boxes.



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The Silent Sea: Episodes 1-8 (Series review)

by missvictrix



Netflix’s latest original drama The Silent Sea premiered over the holiday weekend, and this time our genre is sci-fi. The scene is the moon, and the setting is a dystopic near-future. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but The Silent Sea does sci-fi just the way I like it: tense, slow, and cerebral, with bursts of violence, and a strong message about what it means to be human.




When you have Gong Yoo and Bae Doo-na as your top-billed cast, expectations are sky high. (Or is that moon high?) Either way, The Silent Sea is a bit of a perplexity. It’s eight episodes, but it feels incredibly spare, especially compared to the K-drama storytelling we’re used to. Though the characters are well-drawn and relatable, The Silent Sea isn’t really about them at all — in a way, they’re just stand-ins for the human race and the desperate situation they find themselves in.

In the near-future the drama projects, the Earth’s water has become incredibly scarce. Quickly (frighteningly so), society has changed on a global level. And, as one might expect, this disaster has stratified its social classes even more. Water is more valuable than gold, so it makes sense that it’s treated as a comparable commodity. Citizens are given water rations based on their status, while government and other bureaucrats have quickly found a way to benefit themselves. Water is the new bargaining chip.


It’s in this dire position that we meet our two leads, and the rest of the crew that will soon be on their way to the moon. Bae Doo-na plays DOCTOR SONG JI-AN, a well-respected scientist who’s still in grief over a tragic loss. She’s tapped for the mission to the moon, and joins CAPTAIN HAN (Gong Yoo) and the rest of his crew. They’re meant to head to Balhae, the abandoned lunar base, and retrieve some samples that were left there. It’s a dangerous mission, as the base was previously contaminated by a radiation leak, killing everyone there and shutting down the base permanently.

We get a brief introduction to the other players on board the spaceship, and get a sense of their chemistry. Head engineer RYU TAE-SUK (Lee Joon, hearts!) and DOCTOR HONG (Kim Sun-young, more hearts!) are among the others on Captain Han’s team.


The mission is met with disaster right away, and a crash landing on the moon (yes) is required. I believe their lives are in danger, but at this point I’m really just staring at how handsome Gong Yoo is floating around the spaceship (the neck tattoo is an unnecessary but fun character detail).

The crew soon find themselves on the surface of the moon with injuries and their oxygen running out. The drama does a brilliant job here of making us feel like we’re with them — the environment is gorgeous, austere, and terrifying. We’re stuck in their space suits with them, gasping for breath as the oxygen meter goes down and the lunar base (with its oxygen fill-ups) seems too far away to make it.


The moon is one of my favorite things, so it’s especially fun to see it rendered here as this frightening but kind of incredible landscape. The black space and emptiness is an interesting contrast for when the crew finally reaches Balhae and fills up their tanks. The base is huge, but maze-like, with command stations and labs and a million hallways and doors that look exactly the same. It feels just like it should: eerie, claustrophobic, and abandoned.

The crew have made it to the base, but it’s only Episode 2 at this point, and there’s a whole world of confusion and mystery (not to mention danger) ahead of them. And while there’s enough story there to make The Silent Sea a good watch, it spends a lot of time in contemplation — suspending long moments, and showing us some backstory to our leads, which colors their mission and what’s driving them through the danger.


The Silent Sea is very much about the scenario our crew finds on the moon, and what it means for humanity at large. It’s much less about our characters themselves — nevertheless, watching Gong Yoo and Bae Doo-na argue about the right course of action to take is wonderfully enjoyable.

Captain Han’s job is to keep everyone safe and on-mission; Ji-an, on the other hand, has no allegiance to him, and once it’s obvious things are not what they were led to believe, she counters him and his decisions at every turn.


more https://www.dramabeans.com/2021/12/the-silent-sea-episodes-1-8-series-review/



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6 hours ago, larus said:

I really did not understand why Director Choi decided to kill all those people from the base.

Me too. Did she kill them because the enemy found out about the water? So that nobody would speak about the research? Even so, killing them was a bit stupid since the research remained there. It would've make sense for them to destroy the whole base/research lab.

Edited by Kathia
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